Yep, that’s one of my pictures. Cringe.
My then 3- and 1-year-olds counting fruit from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I think you can tell they didn’t draw or cut out that fruit themselves. Looks like they didn’t even colour it in all themselves.
Ahh facebook memories, thanks for the perspective.
I laugh so much at a lot of the past photos that come up. Hi, I’m Sara, and I’m a reformed Pinterest Mum. Those activities lasted about 2 minutes before the girls had turned them into something totally different than what they were ‘supposed’ to be used for with their free creative minds. They always did something much better than I had planned anyway.
Anyhow, fast forward to now and my experience with their younger sisters is so much different. I was reflecting on it as they did some beautiful artwork a few days ago that was totally authentic and way more fun and meaningful.
If I could talk to my past self I would say, look at this! It can be this simple, and meaningful, and enjoyable. Step away from Pinterest.
A few days ago we were exploring our garden and noticed that there was lots of colour popping up everywhere as spring approaches. The girls decided to collect some.
We put some of the wattle in vases and Miss 4 decided to paint them.
I asked them what colours they needed and they looked at everything they had collected and told me all the colours they could see and would need for their paintings.
They sat side by side painting and chatting for so long.
Miss 4 looked carefully at a vase of wattle in front of her and painted what she saw.
Miss 3 painted and mixed colours and used her fingers too.
Both added some of the things they’d collected to their paintings.
They both honestly sat here for SO long doing this. Chatting to each other, sharing ideas, exploring the paint and nature.
It was authentic. It was meaningful. It was fun.
They were noticing the world around them and the changes in the seasons, interacting with nature, exploring art materials, creating, and so much more. And all of it came from THEM. And because it came from them, they were so engaged.
This is how art looks for them. I am super grateful I realised early what I was doing and changed courses. I share often about unschooling and my views about how children don’t need teaching or activities directed by adults, but it took a lot of deschooling to get here! I once did a Very Hungry Caterpillar counting craft with toddlers, ha!
I know there are so many beautiful and inspiring looking art activities out there and what I wish there had also been were examples of authentic child led art. Because you know what? The majority of those activities you see aren’t created by children, and sometimes not even for children. They are created for Pinterest.
While there’s nothing wrong with an activity that everyone enjoys every now and then, you don’t need Pinterest crafts. You don’t need hundreds of different materials beautifully displayed. It can be this simple. Provide experiences for your kids and new things to explore but do not stress if you haven’t set up 10 activities a day!
Step outside your door. Be inspired. Create some art.